Saturday, June 30, 2007

If it weren’t for the Mosquitoes…

...the boys would’ve never gotten a bite.

Print outs of high tide schedules lay like driftwood on my kitchen counter. My husband, who has historically cared very little about time or timeliness (sans tee-time) has now become acutely aware of times and tides. Just last week, there was nothing more to this fish obsession than a pole and a dream. This week, there are 3 poles, a multi-level tackle box packed with gadgets and gizmos, website printouts with fishing advice, a “fishing for dummies” book, a fishing chair, a fishing light, and still…the dream of catching a fish.

Oh, it’s not that they haven’t tried. Yes, they’ve tried alright, every single night this week. Chasing the tide from rocky shore to pebbly beach, they’ve tried. After a week of failed attempts, last night they declared that it was on! Oh the excitement. The time was 9pm. They were using bait. They were going to a known location for stripped somethingorother. Wendy instructed Shaun not to come home unless he caught something. I didn’t have to tell Jermaine, he had already told me, “We’re in it for the long haul tonight!” There was a look in his eye, similar to the look that Rocky had in his eye before he delivered that knock out punch to Apollo Creed. …it might’ve been the eye of the tiger, I’m not sure, but I knew what it meant, it meant that my man was going on a fish killin’ frenzy tonight. (The JAWS music plays here).

At 3:00AM, I heard the truck pull into the driveway. As Jerms crawled into bed, I mustered up enough energy to mutter, “Did you catch anything?”.
“I caught a skate within the first 15 minutes”.
A skate? Like a roller skate? What the heck is a skate? Sounds loser-ish. I was too tired to get the details, “Anything else?” I whispered.
“No”.

One would think that this many failed attempts would leave the two men defeated and discouraged, but a strange phenomenon has happened. All the failure has actually fueled them. The more failure they incur, the more determined they become.

Tomorrow they’re getting some professional help; and they’re taking the kids deep sea fishing. My mom is also going and is determined to “show these boys how it’s done”. I vaguely recall going deep sea fishing with my dad as a child and let’s just say, I won’t be joining them, and I also predict that this will be Amelle’s first and last time on a deep sea fishing adventure. I still remember the fish guts to this day, Eewww!

The aftermath: This was found on our front porch this morning:


Amelle practices casting for the big day tomorrow:


Even Amaya wants in!



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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sand, Sand, & more Sand

This afternoon as I was preparing to leave work I got a call from a co-worker who gave me a tip that there were sand castles on display at Hampton Beach. I thought that this would be a great idea for the family so I called Jerms and excitedly told him about it and asked him if he thought it would be a good thing to bring the kids to tonight. First there was silence, then a change in subject. When I circled back and asked him a second time he said "I don't know" (which in Jermaine language means "no"). Then I said, "did you have something else you wanted to do?" (he said no), so I said, "Well, it's better than doing nothing", to which he reponded, "not necessarily, sometimes doing nothing is just fine". Somehow I managed to close the deal and he agreed to go.

On my way home I called Wendy to see if the KC3 wanted to join us. She was onboard, but when she ran it by her husband, he also "poo-poo'd" the idea. However, once he found out that my husband also did not want to go, but was going anyway, he felt obligated to put his own feelings aside and agree to go.

The sand castles were really cool, here are some of them.



Here is the wild child before the exorcism (which took place while we were waiting in line for pizza)



After pizza, the children entertained themselves by running wildly around on the beach. Sand was EVERYWHERE (including my son's butt crack and my baby's mouth...but fortunately not the same sand).


And here is how the two responsible ones kept themselves entertained: taking goofy pictures of each other and then taking pictures of each other holding up the picture that they just took. So here is a picture of me taking a picture of Wendy who is holding a picture of me holding a picture of her holding a picture of me. Fun huh? ...frightening that God trusts us to raise His children, isn't it? ...luckily He's not too far away!



I guess that it goes without saying that the boys found a way to make the trip work in their favor; they ended up bringing their fishing rods and stayed behind for some night fishing while Wendy and I carted the 5 kids home. If you haven't guessed, fishing has become the new obsession, the boys are hooked (no pun intended).
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Avery!

Today we celebrated Avery's 8th birthday. We couldn't have asked for a better day, the weather was amazing. We couldn't help but wonder what the temperature in PA was today, we all reminisced about how hot it always was for Avery's birthday party every year - without fail, it was always in the 90s!

Here's the birthday boy...the obligatory cake-shot.


Nothing like a good old fashioned game of wiffle ball! It's so cool that the kids are old enough to play games like this. I'm so over blind-folding kids for pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey! ..of course I say that knowing that I'm not out the woods yet (Amaya).


We capped off the day with a ride over to Nubble Light in York. I am told that this is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. The kids played on the rocks for the while and Avery speculated about what would happen if he fell in the water.




And of course, if there isn't ice cream involved, you aren't in New England....so....
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Monday, June 18, 2007

My Girl


I know I talk about the kids as a collective group quite a bit, but I think it’s important to also step back and take an evaluative look at them as individuals every once and a while.

Here’s a look at my zany middle child.

Amelle is a funny kid, unique in almost every way. She loves adults (more than other kids). Amelle was described by her kindergarten teacher as “the child that follows the aides around during recess”. She also visited the school nurse daily, not because she was ill or injured, but because she was probably more comfortable being with an adult than a room full of kids. Amelle loves candy, band-aids, vitamins, and being the boss. She refers to Amaya as “Sweetie” when no one is in ear shot. She loves helping people, doing cartwheels, jumping rope, and received a reward for her “gentleness”. She likes to write fast and messy, as if simulating the way an adult would sign their name. Grades are meaningless to her. She can be expected to sustain some small injury each day, for which she will require 1) a band-aid, 2) a gum band-aid, 3) a gummy band-aid, 4) an ice-pack, or 5) any combination of the above. She hates getting her hair combed, smiling when expected to, and being the center of attention. She absolutely can't tolerate the sight of blood or the sound of babies crying. She has been told that she has "beautiful eyes" by strangers nearly every day of her life. She loves her blankie and she goes to sleep with a Jesus figurine every night to ward off bad dreams. She’s the alpha dog in Hunter’s world and he is protective of her. She loves to “tell on people” and she can’t keep a secret. She eats hummus, guacamole, and broccoli, but only the crust of her pizza. She lives in a world of action and reaction and understands that when she does something wrong there is a punishment expected. Most recently when she was disobedient, I told her that she was grounded from Chap-stick (make-up) for a month. When we returned home, she immediately went through the house and collected every Chap-stick she could find and put them all in a large zip lock bag and handed them to me for safe keeping (without me asking her to do so).

Amelle with "Sweetie"..

Content to "just be"..
Always willing to "cheese" for the camera!
Amelle is such a special child. I thank God for her.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Behind Every Good Man....

...is his woobie.


Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband (and his woobie). As noted above, the woobie transends all seasons and good hygiene, the woobie is interwoven on my husband's DNA.

For without you there would be no me, and without your woobie, there would be no you. And without both of us, there would be no kids, and....

well, you mean the world to me Jer, I adore you... woobie and all. ...And as a special father's day favor, I shall refer to the woobie as a "jacket" (there, I said it), even though everyone knows that it is a mere zip up sweatshirt.

xoxo
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Off-site

I just returned from our semi-annual HR Offsite meeting. Ironically the team gathered in Portsmouth, NH which is much, much closer to home than my office in Portland. I am part of such a great and talented HR team, I truly feel honored to work alongside this group of women, I have learned so much from them.

Here are "my girls" (Maria - Boston & Jodi - Arizona) Team motto: Work hard, play hard. ...and yes, our boss "caught us" at the Coach Outlet on Monday! Here we are cruising around Portsmouth Harbor:



The weather was absolutely perfect boating weather - I couldn't resist this shot of all the sailboats (I was drooling, wanting to be on one of them so badly!!):



Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse on New Castle Island:



The sky meets the ocean:
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Man's Best Friend?

So we adopted "Tracker" (see Wendy's Blog), he is now "Hunter" and is the 6th Moore. The funny thing about this guy is that when he lived at Wendy's house, he was 1) housebroken, 2) sweet & quiet 3) smelled good. As a "Moore", he is none of those things. In fact, I'd actually describe him as "reverse housebroken" - he literally comes in the house (after being outside all day) to go to the bathroom (on living room floor).

Here is Jerms and his new best friend.


You know I'm not good with sayings, but isn't there one about "letting lying dogs sleep", or "never wake a sleeping dog" ...or something like that - here Amelle pushed her luck as she tries to "explore" Hunter's paw while he naps.


1st bath. This was definitely a group effort, as he was afraid of the water.


Here's Amelle having "a ball" with the new family member.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

ConGRADUATIONS Amelle!


Amelle graduated from Kindergarten today. Not being one for "audiences", we weren't sure how she was going to do on stage, but she did very well. She received her "diploma", a Bible, and a Character Award for "Gentleness" (she gets that from her mother - ha!)

Here are some of her fans!



Then off for her first manicure - Grandma's treat! The lollypop helped her pucker so that she didn't have to work so hard at hiding her smile. She LOVED getting her nails done. Ut oh!!


Then was lunch - she wanted to "go someplace we could walk to - like the city", so we went to downtown Portsmouth, which was city-enough for her. Here's a shot of Wendy (aka Tia Leoni), Will, and Amelle showing their "assets"...uh hum... against a "Portsmouth skyscraper" - impressive eh?


Those involved with reading my previous "comment-less" blog entry, might find this mildly amusing: I ended up "foresaking my job responsibilities" and taking the entire day off to spend with Amelle on her special day. Ironically, after lunch, Amelle ditched me to go over her Auntie Wendy's house. :-)
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

MLB

On Sunday Jerms had the good fortune of accompanying Shaun to the Sox/Yankees game. They had amazing seats - and the kids and I had a great time viewing them on television (they were right in the camera shot for all right-handed batters.

Here's me, with the Tivo in hand, "See Uncle Shaun, he's in the white hat, right under Derek Jeter's armpit, and see daddy next to him in his woobie".
Here's Amelle, "How did they get in the TV?"




Though we thought that the highlight of the night was watching daddy on television; it turned out that the real highlight would be Avery receiving a baseball from the game, and later watching footage of his dad catching it (a foul ball by Coco Crisp - crazy name - huh, sound like cereal).

Sweet.
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Monday, June 04, 2007

The Proper Address...

This blog is dedicated to Wendy, who is struggling with "address issues".

So, my questions are:

1) How do you think children should address adults?
2) How did you address adults when you were a child?
3) Is it ever okay for a child to address an adult by first name, if so when?
4) How should children address close family friends/neighbors.
5) How do you prefer to be addressed (by children)
6) Why is American culture changing in regard to these standards?


Here are my answers (and 2 of my 3 kids):

1) With a Mr, Miss, Ms, in front of their first name, or a Mr, Ms, or Mrs in front of their last name.
2) By their first name (except for teachers)
3) Only if they are a step-parent, or insist on being called by their first name.
4) See #1.
5) "Mrs. Moore". ..or "Ms. Erin" if the child is very young.
6) Because American culture is moving away from biblical principles, and it's jacked up.

Please post a comment with your answers, so my dear SIL can sleep again at night. Also, once you finish posting, check out this article that Wendy sent me. ...oh, and don't cheat, post your thoughts, THEN read the article. (Remember, God is watching - and if you don't believe in God, then Santa Clause is watching).
(Oh, and the picture has nothing to do with the blog, but posting two picture-less blogs in a row just didn't sit well).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I Still Haven't Recovered From Mother's Day...

This might be too personal for the blog, not to mention too long, but what the heck, it is my blog and I’ve already warned that I don’t keep a diary, so if you don’t want this level of info, just check back in a few days.

So I just realized that Amelle graduates from Kindergarten on Thursday morning. I’m sure I just realized this because I’m not really on top of the kids stuff. You know people who live “paycheck to paycheck”, well that’s kind of how I am with the kid’s school stuff, I live “week to week” with the school commitments. I didn’t think about Kindergarten graduation before reading the weekly update tonight. Last week I missed Avery's Dolphin presentation and I paid for one of his school projects a second time because I forgot that I had already sent a check in a few weeks prior. I’m not on top of it. The kids are my second job.

On Mother’s day I received news that shook my core. It was the message in church. The pastor pointed to scripture that I hadn’t stumbled across yet, and I haven’t been the same since. The sermon was appropriately on “the biblical woman”. I thought I knew the biblical woman, at one point I had even printed Proverbs 31 and posted it on my refrigerator for inspiration. But this sermon didn’t reference Proverbs. We were instructed to open our bibles to Titus. It was one sentence, and it rocked my world:

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:4-5

The pastor elaborated on that sentence for 30 painful minutes. Not painful like migraine painful, but like exercise pain, you know it’s good for you if you can just get through it. My eyes were filled up and I wanted to escape, for a moment I even thought about walking out. Jermaine was in the lobby with a fussy Maya while Amelle and I sat in the sanctuary, so I couldn’t just leave Amelle there; I had to be brave and stick it out without breaking down, even though everything inside me told me that I couldn’t sit there for another minute.

The whole thing got me, but I was particuarly convicted by the part about being busy at home. This pastor interpreted this as taking care of home/kids ect. He even expressed that he believed that it was ideal for the woman to be able to "stay at home" to take care of the household and children.

Because I felt so convicted by this message, I decided to get a second opinion. The very next morning I listed to Pastor Joe Focht describe Titus 2:4-6, and his opinions were consistent with the message by our local pastor.

It became clear to me that I was missing the mark. I am not the woman that God designed me to be.

Not only was I not interested in the priorities that God had for me, but all the thoughts about those who were doing what God had wanted them to do came flooding into my brain at once. I called people “wimps”, in fact, I generalized most Christian women as weak because those that I had been exposed to stopped working the moment they got pregnant and then never went back – even when their kids went to school (which literally boggled my mind). Meanwhile I was working full time, pregnant, in an accelerated graduate program, moving, and managing the lives of three kids (ages 5, 6, 32). Yes, I was busy, but wasn’t I supposed to be?

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. Proverbs 31:17-18

It would bother me to hear Christian women tell me how busy I was, they would look sad for me, but I didn’t understand it, I honestly thought they were just lazy. The women in my bible study would pray for me to be able to stay home with Amaya, but I didn’t join them in that request, I just wasn’t “there yet”.

A few weeks ago I even pondered how a friend of mine who had three children under 2 got herself out of bed every morning, because she had to stay home with those three kids all day. I literally couldn’t fathom a fate worse than that. I’m ashamed to admit it, but that was my thinking.

That’s not to say that I didn’t have a desire to slow down and spend more time being mom, because I did. At one time I was even determined to home school. I read every home schooling book that I could get my hands on, researched laws, charter schools, curriculums, the whole 9 yards, only to realize that I wasn’t courageous enough to actually do it.

So this week my daughter graduates from Kindergarten and I am just realizing that on the same day that my daughter graduates, I planned a big luncheon at work and my boss is coming to town for that and a meeting with me. I can do both, just barely. I’ll be rushing from the graduation to the work luncheon and there is a tear rolling down my cheek as I e-mail my boss telling her that I’ll be at work late that day because Amelle is graduating. But what I really want to do is tell her that I won’t be at work at all, because I’m going to spend the day with my daughter.

The Lord is at work in me.